About this Famous Person
Canadian motion picture actress, co-founder of the film studio United Artists
Source : Tim DOWLING
Mary Pickford was born Gladys Marie Smith in Toronto, Ontario. Her father, John Charles Smith, was the son of English Methodist immigrants, and worked a variety of odd jobs. Her mother, Charlotte Hennessy, was Irish Catholic. Mary had two younger siblings, Jack and Lottie Pickford, who would also become actors. To please the relatives, Pickford's mother baptized her in both the Methodist and Catholic churches (and used the opportunity to change her middle name to "Mary"). She was raised Roman Catholic after her alcoholic father left his family in 1895. He died three years later of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Hennessy, who had worked as a seamstress throughout the separation, began taking in boarders. Through one of these lodgers, the seven-year-old Pickford won a big part at Toronto's Princess Theatre in a stock company production of The Silver King. She subsequently acted in many melodramas with the Valentine Company in Toronto, capped by the starring role of Little Eva in their production of Uncle Tom's Cabin, the most popular play of the 19th century.